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Bad Mouse


Disney raised their rates yesterday on all their ticket prices.  Almost worse than what they did is how they did it.  It was announced Tuesday.  Hikes went into effect Thursday. It would have been nice to give the public some ample notice to get their orders in, or in many cases, save up.

The announcement came on the heel pads of the ruling on Prop. 8.  I’m thinking that Disney timed it that way knowing full well that the gay population would be so busy celebrating, they’d fail to notice.

Disney is the 800 lb. mouse.  They can do whatever the hell they want, and the park will still be filled to Nemo’s gills.  However, what they gross in revenue, they stand to lose in goodwill.  This is a PR case study in what not to do.

Day passes went up 4 bucks, but season passes increased as much as $30 each. Meanwhile, the economy is statistically worse than it was in the depression.  The message that the Disney Co. sends with the price hike is they don’t care about your economic woes.

Worse still, it was announced with slick spin.  The press release read “New Information About Tickets.” It’s as sing-song-y as one of the parade numbers.

The Mousketeer marketeers who thought this up ought to get into the mortgage game.  At least when they come to repossess your house, they’ll do it in gleeful song.

Still spinning, they wrote “While the prices do reflect an increase, you can still find special values…” and  the official announcement reads prices will be“adjusted,” not increased, raised or hiked.  Such euphemisms ignore the Dumbo in the room.  That’s like your boss telling you “You’re not being fired, your employment term is simply being adjusted… backward… and as of today.”  Then with cocked smile, “Here’s your box!”

Disney, who does almost everything excellently, really screwed the pooch on this one.

Well, actually, the pooch screwed you.

11 Comments leave one →
  1. 08/06/2010 8:57 am

    Great post, Steve. You are so right.

  2. Carolyn permalink
    08/06/2010 10:07 am

    my sentiments exactly. Great visual, too.
    I often think about the thousands of homeless and poor children ( and kids from large families) who all live in the shadow of Disneyland- and now have even less chance of ever seeing inside the gates!
    We “middle-classers” will always find a way to scrimp and take our kids to Disneyland, but many many kids won’t ever get to go.

  3. 08/06/2010 4:15 pm

    I hear what you are saying. BUT my question to you is “why do they HAVE to make it affordable to us?”….why should they be obligated to make it affordable?

    If they can raise their prices, and make more money THEY SHOULD. After all Disney is not a charity. Never has been. It is a 100% BUSINESS with a penchant for profits.

    They have absolutely no obligation to ANY of us to give us fair warning, keep prices low or hell even to pick up the trash inside with the fervor of an OCD patient on weekend release program.

    If we don’t like it. We don’t pay for it.
    Isn’t that the American way?

    • 08/06/2010 6:14 pm

      Nice counterpoints. That should cement your position at the Disney Blogger’s ball. Take pics for me. I’m obviously not getting an invite.:)

  4. Jenelyn Russo permalink
    08/07/2010 9:26 pm

    They are a business. And if they are like any other business in CA, they have increased operating costs as of late. The way they rolled it out was in bad form, I agree. If enough people think the increase is too much and they can’t afford it, Disney will know it. And they will do something to bring the people back. But something tells me they won’t have that problem.

    • 08/07/2010 10:47 pm

      Disney profit is up $300 mil or 55% over last year. They did not need to do this. Of course they can raise prices. I can beat Jack in arm wrestling; that doesn’t mean I don’t let him win. It would have been a PR coup if they would have issued a press release that read “Disney holds ticket prices despite increase operating costs.”

      My point is that it is such a bad message to raise prices in this economy. Even cheesier how they blindsided people with the announcement. I get that a business can raise their prices. A ticket is only worth what someone is willing to pay. No doubt, people will pay. We are buying seasons passes despite my protests. I will say I have lost esteem for Disney Co. because of the announcement and how it transpired.

      If I were in charge of this decision, I would not have done this. It may have had a short-term effect on shareholder equity, but it does paint the company as a profit-seeking business. It’s supposed to be “the happiest place on earth,” not “the most profitable place on earth.” How many posts have you read on this subject? You’re kidding yourself if you don’t think that has a negative effect.

      • Jenelyn Russo permalink
        08/08/2010 9:41 am

        You are right. They completely blew it in how they communicated this. I agree. I lost “respect” for The Disney Co long ago, but it has little to do with their pricing structure. I guess I’m agreeing with Marcy’s thought in that they don’t owe it to us to make it affordable. I don’t expect that from them, never have. Will we renew? I don’t know. Each family decides for themselves. Will there be a negative effect? Sure, but I don’t know that it will translate into huge numbers leaving in droves. Maybe I’m wrong…

        Oh, and I love the title of this post 😉

  5. 08/29/2010 5:04 pm

    Yeah, I doth protest too much. We bought our annual passes today. Thanks Carla for Jack’s Disney Dollars!

  6. casadecruz permalink
    05/21/2014 12:44 pm

    The thing is, if you complain and then acquiesce, there’s really no point in complaining. We actually DID let our passes lapse two years ago, over the special needs pass debacle. Honestly, we will not renew, this cements it. I am done with Disney. Are we a bit sad over it? Sure. But the only way to make a stand is to refuse to play their game. And sadly, we lose, but we also win. That’s what happens when you are tilting at windmills.
    Instead, we buy passes to museums, The SD Zoo and make do. No longer are we going into debt for the ridiculous money grab from Disney. My family loves the Mouse, but he doesn’t love us. We are done.

  7. 05/21/2014 12:58 pm

    We have had passess for the last 5 years. They expire in November. I think I’ve been once this year. We’re going to do Knotts for the next couple years and take a year off.


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